sense and no sense


I’ve been rereading Jane Austen during winter. She’s especially good when there’s a storm outside. I love her language and the understatement.

“John Dashwood had not much to say for himself that was worth hearing, and his wife still less. But there was no peculiar disgrace in this; for it was very much the case with the chief of their visitors, who almost all laboured under one or other of these qualifications for being agreeable; want of sense, either natural or improved, want of elegance, want of spirits, or want of temper.”

I had to start on a new buying expedition of Austen as the complete edition I had was proving to be too difficult to read in bed due to its size and its small print. Reading glasses are not much use in bed, I find.

And conversely, (old and new) I also upgraded to an iphone, succumbing at last to advertising and Telecom.
It’s not much good for the aging eyes either nor am I sure that it’s a helpful addition to my life.

It does help with my work and helps me understand how to design courses better, but for personal use knowing that new spam has arrived is not much use. To be honest I mostly use the calorie counter (thereby being in danger of a return to anorexia and making me miserable) and the solitaire games, thereby damaging my eyesight even more.

What, indeed, would Jane say of these gadgets? Something understated about the desire for new toys and the need to be in touch with a world that is increasingly facile. (Excluding messages and texts from friends of course).

“As much as she valued her independence of mind she nevertheless felt it her duty to acquire such possessions as to ensure that she maintained her ability to operate and understand the workings of a contemporary world that was rapidly overtaking her understanding of that world”.

Something much cleverer, I think. Feel free to make suggestions.


2 thoughts on “sense and no sense

  1. The photo is of an iPhone…? An iPad is soooooo much easier on the eyes! And all Jane’s work is available for free via ebooks, so the font is as large as you want.
    I wouldn’t say the world is more facile from my perspective, and these toys let maintain or build rich relationships with the people that I love, which would otherwise be far far poorer.


    1. Hmmm yes you are right on 2 counts Geoff – it is an iphone and yes they are useful for maintaining contact. It was whether or not I needed to upgrade. My old cell phone worked perfectly well and I am not sure I need the iphone. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like it -just was it necessary?


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